Gransnet forums

Bereavement

Yet another aspect

(52 Posts)
annsixty Fri 10-May-19 09:42:58

I have posted on the other current thread and now another "problem" has reared it's head.
I have realised that I haven't been out on my own since my H died and now I find I can't do it.
Is this normal?
Will I find the courage?
Each time, not many, I have had a reason and someone else has been involved.
I got up this morning thinking I would do some shopping.
I just can't do it.
I don't drive so would have to walk to the bus, I might meet neighbours who perhaps don't know, I would certainly meet someone on the bus which is a community bus ,running just a few times a day and used by locals.
I am surprised by this, I am outgoing and friendly, I am quite scared by the realisation.

BradfordLass72 Sat 11-May-19 06:58:42

annsixty It's early days yet. Just allow yourself to relax and not feel bad if you simply want to stay at home.

There's nothing wrong with that, time will change things.

I can completely understand your not wanting to get into conversations about your recent awful situation which you bore with heroic strength, and why would you want to explain to anyone?

Be kind to yourself. flowers

cornergran Sat 11-May-19 07:23:16

Lots of good advice here ann. I won’t add to it other than to say just be as you are, it’s very early days. Grief is so individual, no reaction is wrong. You must also be physically exhausted and need time to recover. Be gentle with yourself. Sending love.

Sofa Sat 11-May-19 09:38:29

Yes it is normal, I felt just the same when my husband died. I think for me it was partly because I had been used to going out and about with him. I was part of a couple but now I was on my own. From being quite a confident person now I wasn’t and that was a shock. Initially with encouragement I went out with a family member and gradually my confidence came back.

nanee Sat 11-May-19 09:40:09

Oh dear! Do you need a taxi to the doctor? I know it's hard but 'best foot forward', as they say. (once you start it'll get easier, don't you need to go for shopping or anything? I find a sense of purpose really helps?. Good luck!

polnan Sat 11-May-19 10:09:04

not just widows etc.. I have my husband here physically, but he rarely wants to go anywhere, I had my beloved dog, she died, and it was so hard to go walkies on my own, first I went out when it was dark,, nearly 2 years now, and I can feel the tears rising as I "talk" about it.. I just don`t understand these feelings,,
anyway, then I went walkies wearing dark glasses, so if the tears welled, I thought no one could see. fortunately never met many people I know,, so I got through that stage, now I can go walkies , sometimes without glasses! LOL

I hate sympathy, I joined the local church, and so many ladies share their pain,,, I can`t ... but so helps me coming here.

I think we have to try and bite the bullet... shopping? do that on my own now.. actually I prefer , mostly, going shopping on my own, I am fortunate in having met a lady at the church, couple of years older than me, widow, and she seems to be understanding where I am at... I get to give her a lift in my car... she can`t walk much.. so it is a matter of trying to beat these feelings.. after all that is all they are...

good thoughts and prayers for you ann

inishowen Sat 11-May-19 10:14:49

Many years ago my mum died suddenly. My friend offered to walk my children to school for a few days. However it went on for three weeks because I couldn't face meeting my friends at the school gate. Eventually my friend said she couldn't do it any more and i was on my own. The stress the first day was awful, but things were back to normal the next day. Hopefully you will get better after the first day. x

ReadyMeals Sat 11-May-19 10:18:40

Did you go out on your own before he died?

lovebooks Sat 11-May-19 10:36:46

Oh I do know about this one. I joined Way Up, which was excellent at the time - I may even rejoin. Does "Next Door" cover your neighbourhood? It's a countrywide local networking club, and you have to prove you're local - not difficult - and it's been absolutely invaluable to me in so many ways - do check it out. No one is 'normal' after a major bereavement, so give yourself time and sympathy.

Farawaynanny Sat 11-May-19 10:51:26

I also joined Way Up when I was widowed 8 years ago. It was a lifeline for me as we were living in France in a rural area. Although my friends were wonderfully supportive, they just didn’t “get it”, nobody can unless they’ve been in the same situation. Every member of Way Up has been widowed and will have been through all the emotions and come through the other side. Why not give it a try? It helped me to realise that I wasn’t alone with the way I felt. Take everything one day at a time and be kind to yourself. Sending my best wishes

trendygran Sat 11-May-19 10:58:38

I have now been widowed for ten and a half years ,so have become used to ‘going alone’ or not going anywhere. It was very difficult at first , but now I have made new friends just by talking at the local bus stop (did not enjoy driving so sold the car when DH died) .I do have other good friends, several of whom are now widowed.I meet up for coffee fairly often with friends and also belong to two U3A groups so have made new friends there as well.
All this takes time after bereavement and I would love to have someone there to go away on holiday ,out for a meal ,trip out etc. Everything now has to be planned in advance .
It isn’ t any easy time, but the last thing to do is stay at home all day every day. You never know who you might see or talk to if you are out .Often I just go to local shops and coffee bars ( lucky that several nearby).and mostly end up talking to someone .It all helps to get through the day. Evenings alone are a different matter. They,and weekends are the most difficult times . My DD ,SIL and two GCS live near but are very busy juggling NHS jobs ,school etc, so I don’ t get to see them all that often. My other two GCs live 300miles away!

sarahellenwhitney Sat 11-May-19 11:42:38

I had time to prepare myself for the loneliness and feelings that follow a bereavement from the couple of years nursing a very ill DH but never the less nothing prepares you for an empty house. I suggest you contact the Red Cross who will have a representative who will visit you, clearly with your permission, as they offer valuable information for persons like yourself and the difficulty you face getting into the world following your loss.

Justme67 Sat 11-May-19 11:50:11

Hello Ann, unlike you I have, thanks to the goodwill of friends been out and about since my husband died in February, all to clubs where I am known. I have yet to pluck up enough courage(?) to go to the shops alone. I have a perfectly good buggie, shops within striking distance - I used to walk and enjoy the walk, greeting folk, I still do the walk occasionally, but going into the shops if I am on my own seems to be a step too far at the moment. I am sure as everyone says it will pass, but grief seems to act in such odd ways, because my husband would always "wait" for me, rarely shop, so to shop on my own would be nothing new. Take care

Elderlyfirsttimegran Sat 11-May-19 11:51:01

I can now go shopping but it’s going out on “social” occasions I find so difficult. I have lost my confidence and can’t think of anything to talk about, I feel I’m a very boring person. It’s miserable and I don’t know what to do about it, I feel “different”, almost as though there’s a glass wall between me and other people.

Hm999 Sat 11-May-19 12:09:56

Sorry to hear of both your loss and your isolation. Confiding in a friend who will come and drag you out to shop or walk a dog or whatever is possibly the first step. For DD it was going to the corner shop for a packet of biscuits because I was desperate for one. For me it was only keeping one can of cat food in the house, so I had to go out and buy one.
As far as socialising is concerned, keep up with the news or sport or films/books, and prep, so you have things to say.

Hm999 Sat 11-May-19 12:10:31

And let us know how you get on ⚘

issibon Sat 11-May-19 13:03:23

Yes this is normal behaviour when you are bereavement
Take care gets better you just hide it more x

NannyC1 Sat 11-May-19 13:50:33

Explain to family what's going on. Then you could get someone to take you and doing a bit of shopping and have a cuppa in a cafe. Either get the bus back or meet up with them later. I make every excuse up that I can not to go out when I don't "need" to, but it's so exhilarating when I do. You're the Queen in your home so... Polish up that crown stick it in straight and go and meet your public. 😍xx

OzzieLass Sat 11-May-19 14:20:45

Dear annsixty, I really feel for you, but the advice to be kind to yourself is the best of all. Even if you're not going out, you are at least opening up on gransnet; that's a great start and you know you are not alone. So many other women have been through this same terrible experience and slowly, slowly come out the other side to live again. Can you seek some kind of bereavement counselling to help you now when you need it most? That might be a good first step. Venturing out with family when you are ready is good because that way you don't have to engage with other people if you don't feel up to it. Then perhaps Way Up or even Jolly Dollies to meet in person other women in the same place. But don't rush. When you feel ready, you will naturally want to take those small steps to reclaim your life and start to enjoy it again. flowers sunshine cafe

annsixty Sat 11-May-19 15:23:36

I must say thankyou to all of you.
I will add I am happy to go out if taken by someone and by car.
It is just going out on my own that I do not feel able to do.
I think if someone asked after my H and I had to give explanations I would break down, I haven't done that yet.

FranT Sat 11-May-19 15:46:43

I was the same annesixty when my husband of almost 50 years died two years ago. We did everything together, and he was my best mate, I felt lost & didn't realise just how much we depended on each other, my confidence disappeared and like you I daren't go to shops, catch a bus etc, I would have totally hibernated, but having a Jack Russell I had to force myself to walk her. I was fortunate in that I had many really good friends, (truthfully I didn't know how many) who were my saviour, now don't get me wrong I still at times am bereft, but I have moved forward somewhat. I really miss his humour & the simple things like having someone to do nothing with, but who was merely there! I don't know how long since your husband died, but as MawBroonsback quite rightly said, every day is different and there is no normal timescale to grief, just hang on in there, my thoughts are with you.

Peardrop50 Sat 11-May-19 18:40:57

annsixty, I'm so sorry you feel helpless at the moment, I hope you feel a little better having read all the lovely comments and advice from those who know or have known your pain. I can't imagine how you feel but didn't want to read and run. I wish you courage and good luck.

pinkjj27 Sat 11-May-19 22:35:32

I certainly went through something similar and I still struggle a little. I am a teacher I took 2 years off to care for my DH I wanted to return to work after I lost him but I just couldn’t I couldnt leave the house alone at all . It became a problem but I did seek help. For me I found the radio on my phone with headphones helped me as I did not feel so alone and it took away some of the anxiety. As for normal what is normal when it comes to grieving?

Alittlemadam Sat 11-May-19 22:39:49

My sympathies and unfortunately in most cases its normal. Try little steps up the garden if you haven't already. Then maybe start walking just down to the bottom of your drive or front of house. Things do get easier but it all takes times. Then try extending the walk to the end of next door or go out quieter times. Perhaps ask a friend neighbour family to go out with you for the first few times. Five years on my mom still feels like this sometimes since my dad passed away

BradfordLass72 Sun 12-May-19 08:47:04

annsixty
I'm a great one for planning ahead when things make me anxious but I'm not sure if it is the potential comments of others which is making you want to be reclusive unless someone is with you.

But in case it is, I wonder if it would help to devise and maybe even practice out loud at home, saying the following, if/when people ask you about your husband? Because come the day, they will ask.

'He passed away but I'm not up to talking about it at the moment if you don't mind.' And follow up quickly with a question about their lives, 'But how did the church fayre go?' etc

And if they know and offer condolences, 'Thank you but I'm still finding my feet and don't feel able to talk about it.'

And always have a neutral follow up for people you don't know that well, 'And haven't we had a lovely/wet/chilly Spring so far? I'm looking forward to getting into my garden.' Or something similar.

Then if you are prepared with a script, it may not seem so daunting when you are out alone.

Of course it may not be this at all smile

Luckygirl Sun 12-May-19 08:57:56

Small steps ann - just a bit at a time. And don't be afraid of being upset in front of people.

I know you will overcome this in your own time - but please don't give in to it and stop trying, however tempting that might be. Take one very tiny step each day. I would so love to hear that you are beginning to pick up the pieces after such a long time when life was filled with caring or visiting. There is a huge void that must be so daunting.

I have you much in my thoughts. flowers